Friday, June 22, 2018

Four Things I Rarely Buy at the Store and Why

Here are some items that you will rarely see in my cart at the grocery store.  



Although bread is not the best choice in a whole foods diet, I actually do not have a problem with bread.  Most of it has too much sodium, preservatives, and white flour in it for me, but it remains an option for filling up hungry tummies.  

I don't buy bread very often for one simple reason:  I get it at church.  

I know, generally church is not a place where one finds bread - except in the communion plate.  But, our church has a wonderful relationship with a local bakery. The bakery wanted to be a blessing to others and had leftover merchandise when closing on Saturday night.  Since they would not open again until Monday morning, that meant that perfectly good baked items would be thrown out.  So, our associate pastor and his wife go to the bakery every Saturday evening at closing time and pick up all the remaining, lovely, high quality fresh baked items.  Then on Sunday morning all the members of the congregation are invited to take a loaf or two of bread home with them as they leave.  Each week we feast on the Bread of life and take home a couple of physical loaves of bread too!  


I've never been a fan of allowing kids to fill up on SOS (salt, oil, and sugar) laden snacks. They are  incredibly costly and add absolutely no nutritional value to my family's lives.  If I am counting pennies (which I always do) it makes no sense to me to throw a $4 bag of chips into my cart when that same $4 will get me a 10 pound bag of potatoes.  So, I simply have never done it.  There are a couple of exceptions to this rule.  

1.  About six times a year I purchase a bag of tortilla chips.  I then guard it with my life until Friday night when I will reveal it to everyone at our Friday night picnic.  See this post for more about that family tradition.  The other occasion for the use of tortilla chips is for use in taco salads.  We use lentil or black bean filling for our taco salads.  They all applaud me for gifting them with the treat of chips! 

2.  The church food bank.  Our family has been involved in helping stock the shelves at our church food bank once a month for the past eight years.  The director of the food bank is a grandmother, and she knows that I don't buy chips for my kids.  She sees it as her grandmotherly duty to sometimes send my children home with a bag chips (and a box of cookies) after they help unload the truck and stock the shelves.  I've never said "no", because, well, you just don't tell an older church mother "no" unless you have a really good reason for doing so.  Can I get an "amen"?! 

Soda (and all sugary drinks)

 My line of thinking for soda is nearly the same as that for chips.  It's full of sugar and really does not add much value to their lives.  I also extend this ban to Koolaid, sports drinks, etc.  You must also remember that juice is basically liquid sugar.  Never buy juice "drinks" or juice "beverages".  They have very little actual fruit juice in them and add sugar.  Buy 100 percent juice.  Then, if you have little ones and feel that you want to give them juice in their sippy cup, mix it with equal amounts of juice and water.  The juice will go twice as far and this puts far less sugars on their teeth and in their stomach.  Better yet, skip the juice altogether and give them a glass of water and some of the actual fruit to eat.  It will contain fiber, which they need for proper digestion of their food. 

Once again, I do occasionally make an exception.  But, it is rare enough that they are all truly appreciative when soda shows up on our table.  

Processed Foods

Most of the items on the interior shelves of the grocery store could magically disappear from existence tomorrow and I would barely notice.  Seriously!  I know that sometimes you can get them for just pennies after you apply store incentives and manufacturer coupons.  But, the fact remains that it is not real food.  It is full of sugar, oil, and salt - three of of most addictive substances on planet Earth!  I read a book years ago by Michael Pollan called In Defense of Food.  Allow me to rephrase his rule of thumb:  "The ingredient label should have five ingredients or less and they should all be in recognizable English."  I thought his other rule was also perfect:  "If your grandmother would not recognize it as food, don't eat it!"  Bingo!  That made sense to me.  Ever since, I have adopted his general rules when looking at processed foods.  

Once again, I occasionally break my own rule.  It's not a sin to have what I call "emergency food" on the shelf of your pantry.  But, consider carefully what you bring into your home.   

Instead, I always have the following items on my pantry shelves:  

Cans of various kinds of beans -
 With a can of beans you can throw together the following recipes in about 30 minutes:  bean burgers, bean salad, smoky bean filling for tortillas, beans over pasta, rice and beans.  

Pasta -  I get either whole wheat or gluten free
Once again, you can boil this, add homemade marinara sauce, and have supper on the table in 30 minutes.  Homemade marinara sauce is super simple!  But, you can just as easily saute some onions and garlic and then add in some Italian seasoning, lemon juice, and fresh tomatoes for an easy fresh tomato topping for pasta.

Raw lentils - 
Lentils are a bean, but they get their own shout out.  I am never without them.  Raw lentils will cook to perfection in less than 30 minutes.  I often add either barbeque sauce (for barbeque lentil sandwiches or roll ups) or taco seasoning (for lentil tacos).  They are a winner!  High in fiber and protein with zero cholesterol and they are cheap, cheap, cheap!! I can make 28 lentil burgers for $5.00!!   For inspiration, see my lentil burger recipe.  These burgers freeze beautifully and we nearly always try to have a batch on hand.

What About You?

Are there any items that you never or rarely buy at the grocery store?  If so, we'd love to hear about them!  Leave your thoughts in the comments section.

There's Still Time To Enter To Win a Book!

It's not over yet!  There are still a few days left in June!  If you've not already entered, head over to our contest page!  Click here!  You can read all about my June food budget challenge and enter for the chance to win a copy of  of one of my favorite books, Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half, by Steve and Annette Economides.

Don't Miss Any of Our Posts!

We do a lot of hanging together on my facebook page.  I post a lot of quick tips and comments throughout the week.  Join us for the fun!  Follow me on Facebook at:

The best way to insure you don't miss any of our posts it to sign up to receive notices from Under the Median.  Click on the "follow by e-mail" link on the main page.


Do all to the glory of God, 


No comments:

Post a Comment